10 Life lessons learned

Image by Harish Sharma from Pixabay

Podcast fave Tonya Leigh has been talking about learning life lessons from her early years as a pageant princess and how they translate to her life in adulthood.  She suggested:

  1. Following your dreams is uncomfortable.  It takes practice to break through event when we’re scared, trying to hold it together.  Practice and hard work pays off eventually.  We procrastinate and divert ourselves because it’s uncomfortable to go after our dreams.  Instead of shrinking from emotions, feel them, show up and do it anyway.
  2. People will judge you.  Make peace with it.  People are always going to judge or compare you with others or themselves.  You get to be a winner despite what others think. To avoid judgement you’d need to lock yourself away and never come out, but then someone would judge you for doing that too.  Expect to be judged, that way you won’t be caught off guard.  Their judgement says more about them than it does about you.  What you think of you is what you should be more concerned with.
  3. You will fail.  Along that journey you will meet amazing people and learn more about yourself by continuing to get back out there.  Ask what you failed at this week.  Avoid getting cosy with only the things you succeeded at, but be comfortable with failure and what you learn from it.
  4. Allow yourself to shine.  Whether it’s on stage, in the kitchen or at the office, notice where your heart comes alive and have the courage to stand in your spotlight, even if you knees are shaking.
  5. People may leave – let them go.  Over time we lose friends but don’t let them stop you from doing the things you love.  Don’t let that stop you doing your best.  You don’t need to apologise for being you. Don’t dull your shine in order to fit in to be accepted.  New faces will arrive that support you.  Those who truly love you will stick by you and those that only love a version of you that you no longer want to be, will leave.
  6. Be a queen and surround yourself with other queens.  Stand tall and be proud of where you are.  If you surround yourself with other queens, you won’t be in competition with each other because you’re all wearing a crown.  Cheer each other on, call each other for support, enjoy being together.  Believe in yourself, show up.  It’s hard to find others who don’t feel the need to compete, who cheer each other on, who are supportive, focus on living a well lived life, who are like minded.
  7. Miss Congeniality never wins. Being the nice girl, in with the in crown is hard work.  Thinking that in order to be successful, people have to like you is not healthy.  The reality of it is you can’t be effective if you’re struggling between your values and whether you’re like or not.  Stop trying to win Miss Congeniality to serve yourself and others, start being Miss You.  People will always challenge and disagree with what you’re doing.  Be kind but don’t be nice to your own demise.  Be true to yourself.
  8. Jealousy and envy are toxic.  Harbouring envy only hurts you.  Learning from your jealousy can inspire you.  If you’re jealous of who or what someone else is, learn from them.  There’s nothing wrong with feeling envious but don’t let it tear you or the other person apart just to make you feel better.  Look at what they are showing you that you want in your life, investigate where you’re holding yourself back, go out and get it. If you’re on the receiving end of jealousy it’s not about you.  You’ve just triggered a deep desire in someone else.  Extend compassion to those who are envious of you.
  9. There’s more than enough success to go around.  Another person’s success does not take away from yours. If we see someone else’s success we’re more likely to feel excited by it and inspired by it.  Don’t use someone else’s success to play the victim in your own life. Celebrate others’ successes with them and see how it transforms your own life.  What you throw out comes back.  Don’t use your success to feel guilty.  Be proud of yourself and what you’ve created.  You did the hard work, felt uncomfortable, overcame setbacks and self-doubt, showed up and took action.
  10. Your essence is everything.  It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or who is paying for your education, your essence is what owns your space with confidence and a head held high.  Who you are being more important than what you’re wearing or doing.

I often worry about people judging me, but then I do fall into the trap of judging others.  I am more conscious of when that happens now and try to stop myself before I say anything. I am better at recognising that judging someone can be hurtful.

I am not very good at shining.  Someone once said to me that I inspired them.  My imposter syndrome made me want to curl up and die.  There’s nothing I do or say that could possible inspire anyone. I’m not that important, or clever.

I have let people go who no longer align with my values. 

I do occasionally get jealous of other people, but then I try to remember they are only showing you the best version of themselves, the edited highlights.  You don’t get to see the pain, emotion, financial issues or things they had to struggle with to get to where they are.  I try to celebrate other people’s successes as much as possible and be happy for others achieve. I don’t think anyone has ever had cause to be jealous of me but I would hope that if I identified that, I would not be smug about it and show some humility.

I occasionally get praise for something but I find the whole thing embarrassing and usually shrug it off with “I’m just doing my job”.    There are things that I’m proud of that I’ve achieved, but had it been someone else, I’d have been equally proud of them for doing it. 

I am going through this whole journey of self-discovery, and still get things wrong sometimes.  I am trying to own my space, be confident and hold my head up.

Which of these was hardest for you?  Which one do you want to focus on practicing?


One thought on “10 Life lessons learned

  1. I struggle with No 5, it does make me paranoid. I also try to do No 6 but often think it’s not reciprocated so have pockets of not trying quite so hard. I find No 7 sounds a bit harsh. Can’t one be a bit of both? I’m very guilty of No 8, especially when I think others are inconsiderate of sharing their success, but I guess some will say thats my problem that I need to address.


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